Despite hunting efforts and severe weather, the deer population in Nebraska is thriving. Although deer aren’t aggressive, they can pose problems for humans, including motor collisions. Thankfully, with the right combination of auto insurance and defensive driving tactics, you can protect yourself. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the road.
How to Avoid Deer-Involved Auto Accidents
1. Know Their Patterns
Although deer are most active during the autumn mating season from September to December, you may encounter them at any time of the year. They tend to wander from sunset to midnight and in the early morning around sunrise, so be extra alert if you’re driving at those times. They usually travel in packs, so if you see one, be prepared for others to appear. Deer crossing signs will often be posted to notify you of especially risky areas.
2. Use Your Car’s Features
Take advantage of your auto equipment. Putting on your brights, for instance, will make it easier to spot deer in low light conditions. Blaring your horn can frighten them off the road. There are also accessories you can install, like whistles, that are designed to deter wildlife, though their efficacy is untested and they shouldn’t be your only line of defense.
3. Slow Down
There’s a common myth that if collision is inevitable, you should speed up. The thinking is that the faster you’re traveling, the more likely the deer is to be propelled into the air when you strike it, so it’ll pass over or away from your car. In fact, the opposite is true: the lower your car’s velocity, the less severe the consequences will be. There was even a MythBusters® episode about it. If you see a deer, decelerate.
4. Minimize Impact
Even if you take all the right precautions, accidents can still occur. If a collision is imminent, stay in your lane. In many cases, damage and injuries result not from impact with the deer, but from swerving into nearby traffic or objects to avoid the animal. Always wear your seatbelt properly to reduce risks. Pull over to safety immediately afterward, put your hazards on to alert other drivers, and call your auto insurance company. You don’t necessarily need to notify authorities, but calling the police or state Parks and Game Commission may be necessary if other parties were involved or you want to preserve the deer for salvage.
The right auto insurance policy is your best line of defense against the expenses that car crashes often entail. For all your auto insurance needs, turn to First State Insurance Agency. Since 1956, this independent agency has been a fixture of the community, with locations in Beatrice, David City, and Hickman, NE. They’ll work with top providers like Progressive® and Aflac® to find you the best kind of coverage for your circumstances. To speak with an agent, call (402) 979-7585. Learn more about their commitment to excellence online.